Tongs - Jazz With The Megaphone? (Long Song Records, 2009) ***½
This album has been lying around here, not knowing what to do with it. Does it fit the profile of this blog or doesn't it? Is is sufficiently jazz? Is it sufficiently adventurous? Well, in a way it is. The music is hard to pigeonhole. If you like The Happy Apple or Lucien Dubuis Trio, you must give this one a try too. Carlo Garof plays drums, percussion, objects, sinori, megaphone, live electronics; Antonio Bertoni plays double bass, electric bass, effects and sampler, Luca Serrapiglio plays baritone and tenor, bass clarinet and lo-fi electronics. The music has a definite rock attack and approach, with the studio being the fourth musician of the band. There is lots of fun on this album, lots of unexpected and interesting new subtleties added to the genre (and not only the megaphone). It rocks, it funks, it pumps, it swings, but on top you get colorful delivery of new sounds, ground-shaking drumming, gut-wrenching arco, hair-blowing horns, hair-raising electronics, feet-raising rhythms. Lively stuff! A little more unity would have made this a better album. Sometimes a little too sweet (like in the first track), sometimes hesitating between just plain fun and real artistic ambitions, but it sounds very promising.